Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann: A New Favorite

It's September: the start of anything autumnal, gloomy rainy days, and all that. A book I have just finished, Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann, captures the vibes perfectly with its bountiful description of magical adventure and mysterious castle, and so I know I couldn't ask for a better Middle-Grade book to accompany the heavy weather with.

"It was easy to begin things, easy to end them too,
but to make everything in between make sense...
that was the challenge."

Cinders & Sparrows follows the story of an orphan maid named Zita Brydgeborn who has just gotten a letter from a walking scarecrow. Being told that she inherits a centuries-old castle called The Blackbird, Zita jumps for the adventure right away. She later finds out that the castle used to be a home for the most powerful witches in the world with Zita as the last of its line. Unfortunately, Zita doesn't know a thing about witchcraft, so when a dark battle between the living and the dead arises, she has to find the magic within her with the help of her new friends Minnifer and Bram.

I might have only read a couple of Middle-Grade books this year so far, but it was quite obvious from the first few chapters that Cinders & Sparrows would come out as my most favorite. Following the story of the chosen one in a dark big castle full of mysterious corridors and magic, the vibes of this book reminded me a lot of a certain magical book we all know so well, and I was certainly obsessed with the mood this book got me into.

All the main characters were very easy to like (except for Mrs. Cantanker, of course), and going through the story from Zita's lens was definitely an exciting experience. I'm always all for fictional midnight adventures in restricted areas, thus having her wandering around Blackbird Castle in the dark made the adventure all the more compelling for me. With a secret to unravel, parts of the castle to roam about, and a mysterious past to solve, the mystery and the gloomy mood rendered this book even more mystical.

Mentions of November and snow elicited a more exciting experience also, because the adventure got all wintery and we all know that it was a perfect combination for anything magical. How I hope I read Cinders & Sparrows at the end of the year instead. While it was not so light, this book was written beautifully with perfect holiday weather I adored. Obviously a good choice for either a winter read or a reread material.

In conclusion, I loved Cinders & Sparrow, especially the twist in the ending, and how the pace was quite fast but everything was still so enjoyableit's definitely a book I want to go back to in the future. If you love Middle-Grade and various magic systems, this book would be a good choice for you. It's three months before December so you still have plenty of time to order this book then you're good to go.

Actual rating: 4.5